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Australia vs South Africa: key players for the World Cup semi-final

13 Nov 2023
Simon Lewis 13 Nov 2023
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  • Australia face South Africa in the Cricket World Cup semi-final on Thursday, 16 November (10:30 SAST).
  • David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell have all made big runs for Australia.
  • Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram have scored a total of 7 centuries.
Quinton de Kock
If Quinton de Kock hits his stride he can win any match for South Africa. (credit: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Australia’s key batters

David Warner has brought some of the best form of his life to the World Cup, and is one run short of 500 runs for the tournament, thanks to two tons and two half-centuries. 

Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell have both stamped their authority on this World Cup with two phenomenal and explosive centuries apiece, but the Aussie top order has looked unsettled and inconsistent, and the Proteas will need to dig into those cracks early doors in the hope of restricting their runs. 

Australia’s key bowler

Adam Zampa has been a revelation and is leading the wickets list with 22 victims in this World Cup, taking 4/47, 4/53, 4/8, 3/74 and 3/21 in consecutive games as Australia found their winning ways. However, the Proteas tore him apart in their group game, slamming 70 runs off his 10 overs, and if they can pull that off again it might be a mortal wound for Australia.  

South Africa’s key batters

Quinton de Kock has been a force of nature in this World Cup, scoring 591 runs in racking up four tons as he has destroyed opposition attacks. His free-wheeling strokeplay is a major threat, as is having a left-hander at the top of the order. 

Rassie van der Dussen has been both a stabilising as well as a destructive force in scoring two tons and two half-centuries. While a great start from De Kock will be a major boost for the Proteas, having Van der Dussen at the crease always offers the Proteas confidence that the innings is in good hands.

Ready to raise the roof are Markram, Klaasen and Miller… and if the Proteas can create a solid foundation in the first 30 overs, these three dangermen have the power to blaze a path through to the World Cup final for South Africa. 

South Africa’s key bowlers

South Africa’s bowlers are the key to victory, especially now that their batters are really firing. Gerald Coetzee (18 wickets) and Marco Jansen (17 wickets) have both made a name for themselves at this World Cup with their consistent wicket-taking, while Tabraiz Shamsi bowled superbly to capture 2/38 against Australia and 4/60 against Pakistan. 

Keshav Maharaj is vital for keeping the runs down in the middle overs, and the left-arm magician knows how to turn it on in big games, taking 2/30 against Australia, 1/27 against England, 4/46 against New Zealand and 1/30 against India. Batters really struggle against Maharaj, making him one of the Proteas’ most valuable weapons, but the King of their bowling Kingpins is Kagiso Rabada, who is as good at keeping the runs down as he is at knocking over the world’s best batters. 

Look for Maharaj and Rabada to really turn it on for the Proteas as they drive towards that elusive place in the final.

The final analysis

Australia are really hard to kill off, and they will come out fighting hard for a place in the final, but South Africa has the extra fire-power that - barring a disastrous collapse or another whirlwind Maxwell innings - should see the Proteas outpunch Australia.

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